At some point in your training you’ve probably had knee pain.
How do I know?
It’s very common. A lot of people (from most sports) have knee pain. But it’s not really a knee problem!
To answer my title question, no the knee is not the weakest link. The knee is between two other joints, the foot/ankle and hip. It’s the knee that takes all the stress from the other joints. That’s why knee pain comes back after resting.
Even if you feel the pain right at the knee or around the knee. It is rarely the knee. It is the adaptation the body must use that creates the stress at the knee.
Of course there are exercises you could do to “build muscle around the knee” but those exercises may not always work. The reason is because they don’t target the right muscles or it’s because they don’t improve the mobility needed at other joints.
I’ve already written a blog about building the foot muscles. So I’ll cover the hips in this blog.
Our days are often spent seated. Unless you’re lucky to have a sit-to-stand desk then you’ll likely have tighter hips. This becomes a problem since hips are meant to move in large ranges.
It also means your muscles may not work as efficiently and that will affect your performance. Just spending some time undoing your day long sitting will help you a lot.
In our content page, we have an essentials video that shows some hip mobility exercises. This is a great place to start increasing your hip range.
When I work on my clients hip range, I strengthen the muscles that have been weakened by their daily activities or training sessions.
Bird Dog is great. It’s opposite of what many of us do all day, bend at the hip (sit). Instead the exercise forces us to extend the hip. Extending the hip makes the glutes (butt muscles) work.
This miniband hip activation (instagram) is a great pre-training circuit to get those muscles around the hip to “wake up”.
I know..it looks like a lot needs to be added. You already have a long training session planned. But what would it be worth to spend more time warming up?
Would it be worth that knee pain going away? Or an improved performance?